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Aside from having a really good nail technician, there are some things you can do to extend the life of your mani. I know a lot of women tend to shy away from manis because of the chipping, but I’m here to save the day (and possibly) your pockets!

Invest in a Base Coat When I say invest– I mean spend some extra coins on an actual base coat. The benefits of using a base coat are:

– chip prevention, gives polish a surface to stick to – stain prevention, keeps polish from staining nails

Some base coats aid in nail health and are fortified with vitamins to help strengthen nails as well.

We’ve all seen the 2-in-1 top coat/base coat options, but I suggest steering clear of these. A base coar is formulated to act as the foundation for your mani so it’s best that we make the additional purchase to aid in a long lasting mani.

I prefer to use a base coat that has a rubberized finish so the polish adheres to it. My favorite base coat is the Orly Bonder ($7). It is a rubberized base coat, and I’ve had very little trouble with my manis while using it!

Do NOT Forget the Top Coat! Your top coat is just as important as your base coat. Top coats are clear polishes that

– seal your nails, create a barrier – prevent chipping – provide a high shine gloss, keeps polish looking fresh

They help your manis last longer because of the protective barrier. Without them, polish jobs would look dull and may even chip a lot more quickly. So do not forget your top coat!

My favorite top coat is the OPI Top Coat ($9). I was using another top coat– one that shall not be named– and my nails would sometimes chip the same day. I came across the OPI Top Coat on a trip to Ricky’s and decided to give it a try. I haven’t looked back since!

Allow Ample Drying Time Always allow ample drying time. This is to make sure your polish sets and hardens appropriately without any drama. I understand there are people that get manis on the go, but if you have extra time, I suggest sitting for a minimum of 15 minutes to allow your nails to dry. If you have a darker color, you might want to stay for a few minutes longer! This is to make sure my nails are dry to prevent chipping, smudges, and any other horrible thing(s) that can go wrong with wet nails.

Essie Quick-E Drying Drops ($10) A friend told me about these drying drops because she does manis on the run (Thanks, Alaetra!). I used to compliment her nails at work because they always looked perfectly done. She told me the drops were her little secret because she was able to do her nails and be out the door in minutes!

The drops speed up your drying time by drying nails in a ‘quick-e’ (see what I did there?). They also protect nails from smudging and dents, which is key for ladies on the go! The dropper-like applicator is perfect as you only need 1-2 drops per nail. It is important that you are close enough to get the drops on the intended target, but at a distance to avoid bumping your nails with the dropper.

I usually dry my nails for two 4minute cycles then apply my drops. Before you know it, I’m out the door.

Whenever I want to get my nails done, I always make sure my hair is done to avoid having my nails soaked in water for an extended period of time. I also bring my own nail polish to the salon so I don’t use the old, thinned out polish at the salon, and I keep my polish out of direct sunlight; I keep them in a cool, dark corner. You can also store nail polish in your fridge! It works– trust me. With that being said, good luck with those manis.

Until next time, Ashley, xo.

Do you have any tips to extend the life of your mani? Comment below!


Thanks for tuning in!

Ashley Hall is a Philadelphia based content creator and media personality from The Bronx, NY. Her channels are a perfect mix of lifestyle, beauty, and style, including sneakers and fashion!

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